Archive for November, 2009

DNA Paternity Test in ART

Friday, November 13th, 2009

More and more couples choose assisted reproduction technology (ART) or surrogacy to realize their dreams of parenthood. These procedures include artificial insemination, using a gestational carrier or both. The process can require vast amounts of time, money, and patience to succeed. The last thing the intended parents expect to hear is that, after all the financial and emotional investments, the parentage of the born child comes into question.

Recently in media, a couple in Greenwich, Conn. filed a law suit against the doctor who helped them with fertility treatment. The case began in 2002 when a woman visited Dr. Ben Ramaley to have an intrauterine insemination performed.   The woman’s husband’s sperm sample was supposed to be used and help her get pregnant. Nine month later, the woman gave birth to twin girls. The couple got suspicious right after the babies were born because the babies’ skin color was way too light coming from a black father.

After several months of speculation and anxiety, the couple took a DNA paternity test and discovered that the father was not the biological father of the twins. The couple filed a suit against the doctor, and one court ruled that the doctor intentionally used his own sperm sample in an “extreme and outrageous” act.

Further investigation found that the doctor’s chart recordings were “scant in detail, hardly legible” and there was no indication who performed the procedure. There was no record that Ramaley’s patient had signed an “informed consent form, and some of the samples found at his office were not clearly labeled either.

Although this type of incident is not very common, it is important to note that human errors could occur at any fertility clinics, and not every service provider offers the same quality treatment. When there is doubt about maternity and paternity of a child produced with fertility treatment or surrogacy, a simple DNA test can answer the question and bring peace of mind.

Universal Genetics is an AABB accredited DNA testing laboratory that can help in this type of situation. Call us at 1-800-914-1002 to talk to one of our caring DNA consultants or email us at if you have questions.

DNA testing may resume for refugees

Saturday, November 7th, 2009

According to a news article published by Associated Press, the American government is discussing the use of DNA tests once again for some foreign refugees seeking residence in the U. S. This may lead to reinstating the pilot program that found massive fraud among those claiming family ties to join relatives already in the U. S. during the Bush administration.

Known as Priority 3, the suspended pilot program was conducted between late 2007 and early 2008, which used DNA testing to verify the blood relationships among family based refugee applicants. The program found that nearly 90% of the family claims were fraudulent. The program initiated DNA testing on applicants from a few African countries including Somalia, Ethiopia and Liberia, who claimed biological relationships with each other and applied to reunite with their family members who had already resettled as refugees and legal residents in the U. S.

The program didn’t test those already in the U. S. because the State Department said the overseas applicants made up 95% of the applicants to the program. The testing started when suspicions of fraud were first raised among refugees in Kenya. Fewer than 20% of the cases confirmed the claimed family relationship, and a large proportion of the applicants refused to take part in the requested test.

There is not a specific standing DNA testing program in place in the United States targeted at immigration and refugee applicants. However, the immigration officers will request a DNA test to be performed on applicants when they are suspicious of the relationship, and the submitted proof is not sufficient to prove the claimed relationship. Although no decision has been officially made, the State Department said in a statement given to the media that the new procedures would likely include DNA testing.